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At Goplasticpallets.com HQ there is good reason to celebrate as The Responsible Plastic Pallet Company has achieved 20 years in business. And what a long way they have come since 2001!
From humble beginnings with a team of just five Goplasticpallets.com has grown exponentially over the last 20 years, securing exclusive supplier agreements with some of Europe’s leading manufacturers to offer the largest, most diverse product range available in the UK.
Today the plastic pallet experts stock in excess of 160 different styles of plastic pallets, 27 different sizes and styles of plastic pallet boxes and a comprehensive range of smaller plastic containers, crates and trays. Not only that, but the now 16-strong team that boasts 155 years combined experience promises to find a perfect match for every customer’s application.
But the company would not have got to where it is today without the strong leadership of the management team, who firmly believes in investing in its staff and setting ambitious growth targets year on year to both challenge and motivate the team.
As Goplasticpallets.com looks to achieve 20% growth this year, MD Jim Hardisty shares some of the company’s proudest achievements over the last 20 years and explains why the company will never stop evolving.
“An early milestone for us was signing our first sole supplier agreement with top Belgian plastic pallet manufacturer IPS (now CABKA-IPS) in 2006. This contract gave us exclusivity on their 50-strong product range, but it was also a turning point, as it paved the way for four further exclusive partnerships with Q-Pall, SmartFlow, Gamma-Wopla and JCO Plast.
“Another achievement that stands out is our first overseas project. Although our main client base is in the UK, we do sometimes get significant enquiries from elsewhere. In 2003 we were approached by Qatar’s largest warehouse equipment company who were looking for pallets to help store and replenish duty free stocks at the new, state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport in Doha. It was a hugely important project on a gigantic scale that saw us supply 10,000 plastic pool pallets; the new airport when complete was expected to occupy 29sq km – roughly a third of Doha itself – and have an annual capacity for 50 million passengers.
“One of our more recent proud achievements came in response to one of the biggest environmental challenges our planet is facing – plastic pollution. A few years ago, a mass of negative media coverage about plastic appeared following David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II documentary, but this misinformed commentary did little to distinguish between bad ‘single-use’ plastic – we all know we need to use less of, and good ‘reusable’ plastic items – like our plastic pallets. In fact, 96% of our plastic pallets are already made from recycled plastic and can be fully recycled at the end of their long working life – but sadly not all plastic pallets end up getting recycled.
“That’s why we decided to take a stand and pioneered the UK’s first plastic pallet recycling scheme committing to collect and recycle any expired plastic pallets and boxes, regardless of who supplied them. In our first two years we’ve collected back and recycled more than 474 tonnes of plastic waste from customers’ used plastic pallets and boxes – that’s a total of 77 full truck loads. You could say we’re on a mission to clean up the nation of old plastic pallets and boxes – and take responsibility where others are not!
“Whilst our recycling scheme continues to be an important part of our offering, it forms just one part of our Responsibility Policy; we remain committed to helping create more sustainable supply chains, providing long lasting, reusable, recyclable plastic pallets – products that help protect our planet.
“We’re also continually looking at ways we can evolve our offering and embrace new technology. Last year we transformed one of our meeting areas into a product demonstration room, where our plastic pallet experts can give live, virtual product demos so customers don’t have to leave their workspace. We’re increasingly relying on digital technology to communicate with our customers and our manufacturing partners too, where we’re looking into solutions that will see our plastic pallets becoming more digitally ‘connected’ than ever before.
“I might be biased but I see a bright future for plastic pallets, which continue to gain market share year on year. A recent report by Grand View Research Inc. predicted the global plastic pallets market to be worth USD 10.4 billion or approximately 7.5 billion GBP by 2028. The main reasons for the wider adoption of plastic pallets are considered to be their low cost per trip long term as well as their durability, reusable properties and superior hygienic performance.
“Customers are increasingly looking for solutions that work seamlessly in automation – everything from automated conveyor systems and shuttle systems to advanced robotics. Here plastic pallets and boxes excel as their consistent dimensions mean they move seamlessly through the automated warehouse, with no sharp edges, nails or splinters to cause disruption.
“And whilst the wooden pallet industry faces the challenges of ISPM15 compliance and mounting pressures due to the availability and continual rising costs of timber, the price of our recycled plastic pallets remains consistent across our extensive range.
“Of course, the last 20 years have not passed without their challenges for us too; navigating the new normal is something we’re all having to adjust to. But with our strong team, the support of our manufacturing partners and our loyal customers, we look forward to the next 20 years.”